103 min. | documentary form | stickup filmproduktion in co-production with rbb

Director Jonas Rothlaender confronts various men with anonymous statements by other men about their sexual experiences and the associated gender roles. As a result, the protagonists begin to reflect on their own sexuality and to talk about their experiences. THE STRONG SEX is an examination of male sexuality, its power structures and stereotypes of masculinity.

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„If almost every woman around me has experienced sexual harassment or violence, what does it say about my male friends and myself?“ THE STRONG SEX explores the current understanding of male sexuality and questions stereotypes of masculinity. What societal ideals are men committed to and which traditions of what we regard as masculine can be challenged?

Director Jonas Rothlaender confronts various men with other men’s anonymous confessions and experiences on male sexuality and desire. Based on that, the men reflect with remarkable openness their own behavior and the characteristics of masculinity. How do social conventions shape one’s own sexuality and to what extent does the perception of others influence one’s handling of weaknesses and emotions? Besides the discussion about the standards to one’s self, the expectations on their respective partners are also reflected. Traditional and modern gender roles clash.

In the interviews, dominance is repeatedly identified as a male attribute. But when does a power game become an assault? And how do you deal with the resulting guilt? The film looks behind the facade of strength and dominance and detects mechanisms of heteronomy. THE STRONG SEX is a reflection about what masculinity means today.


„Ein faszinierender Diskursraum, in dem Männer so frei über ihre Sexualität sprechen, wie man es sonst kaum hört.“
Barbara Schweizerhof, epd Film

„Die Missverständnisse und die Sprachlosigkeit beim Sex, in einer sich „aufgeklärt“ und „frei“ gebenden, bekenntnisfreudigen Gesellschaft, sind die vielleicht erstaunlichste Beobachtung in diesem Film. […] Ein bisschen mehr und offener miteinander reden, wäre in manchen Fällen – vielleicht – eine Hilfe. Die Männer in diesem Film machen schon mal einen Anfang.“
Martina Knoben, Süddeutsche Zeitung

„Erstaunlich offen und ehrlich – fast wie in einem cineastischen Beichtstuhl – berichten sie von ihrer Sexualität und allem, was damit zusammenhängt“
Maxi Braun, der Freitag

World Premiere

38. Filmfest München 2021


Cinema release Germany 26.05.2022


writer, director
Jonas Rothlaender

Dennis Schanz
Luis Singer

commissioning editors
Rolf Bergmann
Franziska Schulz-Elmalih

camera and sound
Andreas Hartmann

Carlotta Kittel (BFS)
Kai Eiermann (BFS)

associate producer
Julia M. Müller

assistant director
Lorenz Reck

Julius Pollux Rothlaender

sounddesign and mixing
Julian Cropp

StickUp Filmproduktion in co-production with RBB
Supported by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, Deutscher Filmförderfonds, 2021

Technical Information

Germany 2021, documentary form, 103 minutes, color, 2K, 24F/Sec, 1:1,85, Dolby 5.1, German with engl. subtitles